Over at The New York Times, David Carr takes on the issue of unpaid internships in media organizations.

Is this a big deal? Yes.

These internships are by their very nature discriminatory. Only a certain kind of young person can afford to spend a summer working for no pay. According to sources at the major publishers, more than one in five of these plum spots typically go to people who are connected one way or another.

Unpaid internships typically provide people who already have a leg up a way to get the other leg up.

Here at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, we give academic credit to our students for completing internships. This fall, under our new department chair, we are enforcing the policy that to receive credit, our students must be paid.

That makes me happy.

Mark E. Johnson

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